Quote: 'Islam is a problem'

Quote: 'Islam is a problem'

Part of an interview with Femke Halsema, head of the Dutch GreenLeft party:

Q: Your party doesn't campaign against orthodox Islam. Is that not strange for a leftist party?

A: We do that. I am one of the few who accused Saudi Arabia, together with Wilders, of violating women's rights. I will always campaign fiercely against any alleged introduction of Sharia. Organizations may, as long as they're not criminal, propagate various ideas - also when I have big problems with it. But I will dispute them. I do that with the SGP (christian party) and with orthodox Islam. Ideas about gays, women, they can count on a sound assault from me.

Q: When was the last time you've conducted a sound assault?

Halema thinks it over and points to a time that she labeled 'fundamentalist Muslims, fundamentalist American Christians and the Roman Catholic church' as 'one axis of religious evil', since they oppress women. The general debate of 2006.

"That is my most renowned assault. I've had many problems with it."

Q: You neatly put Islam and Catholicism together

A: No, no, I'm really prepared to attack orthodox Islam on its own when I think it necessary. I've continuously spoken out when it came to violating gay rights

Q: What do you think of the headscarf?

A: No objection against it, as long as it's put on freely

Q: What do you think of it?

A: I think it's really a pity that women hide their pretty hair

Q: That's it?

A: No. I say that out of playfulness. When I come to my children's school it's difficult for me - I really come straight out of the feminist movement - that I then sit among all types of veiled women. I will not attack their rights in there. But I can't wait for the moment when they'll freely fling off their headscarf. I prefer each woman in the Netherlands to be headscarf-less. And completely free. I don't believe that any God has clothing requirements too. It was the men who expounded faith.

You don't coerce women's emancipation from the top. It must come from the woman herself. I have said that police agents should be able to wear headscarves. I have quarreled with Ciska Dresselhuys, who did not want to accept any woman with a headscarf for Opzij magazine. That that doesn't alter the fact that I have difficulties with the headscarf.

I notice it in my neighborhood: Naturally Islam is a problem. Indeed, especially Islam in combination with illiteracy. It is: having few opinions of your own about the good life. Not having much foothold in education and work, fearing our society and thereby being very receptive to what the imam thinks. Who is often very conservative.

Q: Your children are in a 'black' school in Amsterdam-East. On TV you recently said that your friend and you often think: we'll take our children out of it.

A: Yes. From each parent I hear varying stories about school. But in my school it's more severe. I don't put children in school as a social experiment. If they don't get the maximal opportunities and are happy, they'll leave. The school scores good results, they have their friends. But Muslim girls often can't come to play by our house, because my friend picks them up the school in the afternoons. So far that is not a problem, since my daughter other other friends, but if she'll be lonely because of it, we'll look further.

Source: De Pers (Dutch)

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